When many people think of child custody, they think of the physical custody of a child or with whom the child resides. While physical custody is one part of a custody arrangement – and a very important one to parents who want their children with them – it is not the only aspect of a custody agreement. Legal custody of a child is a separate matter from physical custody, and determines who gets to make decisions regarding a child’s education, healthcare, and religion.
Both physical and legal custody of a child can be divided in numerous ways. Sole physical and legal custody, in which one parent gets full-time physical custody and the right to make all decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, is rare. It is typically ordered by the court only when one party gives up their parental rights or is deemed unfit.
In a joint physical custody arrangement, a child lives with both parents for periods at a time, but these periods can vary widely, depending upon parental situations. In a joint legal custody arrangement, parents share in the decision-making regarding a child’s schooling, medical, and other decisions, but this arrangement can also vary substantially. One parent may get to make educational decisions, for instance, while the other is responsible for religious decisions.
In a joint custody agreement, either party may still pay child support. Child support is determined by the difference in incomes of the parents and additional factors such health insurance, childcare, education, pregnancy, and transportation expenses.
Child Custody Modifications
Eighteen years is a long time to co-raise a child, and of course, circumstances can change in the lives of one or both parents. That is why a custody agreement is never set-in-stone. When circumstances change, either parent can request modifications to the agreement through the court to seek alterations to the custody arrangement.
Las Vegas Child Custody Attorney
Having to make decisions regarding the division of your child’s time, where your child will reside, and how much say you get in his or her upbringing is never an easy thing. Barnes Law Group is here to help you work out a custody arrangement with your child’s other parent that will be agreeable to all parties involved, especially your child. Our law firm has experience in fighting for the rights of parents throughout Clark County, and will work diligently to get you a satisfactory custody arrangement, whether you’re seeking an initial agreement or a modification.